Has there been a film version?
No, the Miramax company bought the rights to make a film out of the first book in the rush after Harry Potter to snatch up all stories even vaguely similar. But the script was never finished and putting together a full length movie proved to be too costly. However, if they decide to make it into a full length feature, I humbly suggest Jason Statham for the role of Butler.
Who are the important characters?
Artemis Fowl – the 12 year old son of a missing crime lord, a super genius who wants his family’s fortune restored. did I mention he’s evil?
Butler – Artemis’ butler and body guard, often referred to as “mountain like” and fiercely protective of his young charge and his own sister, Juliet; he’s trained in martial arts, weaponry, technology, and french cooking
Captian Holly Short – the first female member of the LEPrecon squad, a fairy with an attitude
Commander Julius Root – the head of LEPrecon, always smokes fungus cigars, very volatile, also a fairy
Foaly – a genius centaur who has invented 90% of fairy technology for LEPrecon in the past hundred years, convinced the human intelligence offices are after him so wears a tinfoil hat everywhere
Juliet – Butler’s younger sister, obsessed with wrestling, guards Artemis’ invalid mother
Mulch Diggums – a kleptomaniac dwarf
What’s it about?
Artemis Fowl is a 12 year old super genius with a grudge and too much time on his hands. He’s vowed, in the absence of his father, to restore the family fortune by blackmailing fairies. Yep. Fairies. Along with his bodyguard Butler, Artemis tracks down a copy of The Book of the Fairies, which contains all their rules and protocols. After translating it and making some minor modifications to Fowl Manor, Artemis and Butler successfuly capture Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon squad. Short is the first female member, and is struggling a bit. She feels discriminated against by her Commander, Julius Root, and her only friend in the business is Foaly the paranoid Centaur.
Artemis holds Holly captive for a large amount of fairy gold, which he plans to use to restore the family fortune. But even though Artemis Fowl is a genius and thinks he has the upper hand, the fairies still have a few surprises in store for him.
Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
Colfer managed to ride the Harry Potter wave a little by introducing his series in 2001. This is not a Harry Potter like book, however. Magical beings? Yes. Wizards? Not really. Plus, the series is very well written, pithy, and entertaining – so it did well on it’s own after the first book came out.
Do you recommend I read this book?
Yes. if you’re a fan of any fantasy/sci fi series involving fairies or magic. Or evil geniuses.
Why did this book make your list?
My, then boyfriend, now husband, introduced me to this book when the third came out.
Has it won any awards?
“The Fowls were, indeed, legendary criminals. For generations they had skirmished on the wrong side of the law, hoarding enough funds to become legitimate. Of course, once they were legitimate they found it not to their liking, and returned almost immediately to crime.” – p 28
“Root was right to be nervous. If he’d known how this straightforward Recon assignment was going to turn out, he probably would have retired then and there. Tonight, history was going to be made. And it wasn’t the discover-of-radium, first-man-on-the-moon-happy kind of history. It was the Spanish-Inquisition, here-comes-the-Hindenburg bad kind of history. Bad for humans and fairies. Bad for everyone.” – p 41
“Mulch had a prodigious appetite for tunneling, and that, unfortunately, is a literal translation. For those unfamiliar with the mechanics of dwarf tunneling, I shall endeavor to explain them as tastefully as possible. Like some members of the reptile family, dwarf males can unhinge their jaws, allowing them to ingest several pounds of earth a second. This material is processed by a super-efficient metabolism, stripped of any useful materials, and . . . ejected at the other end, as it were. Charming.” – p 162
Colfer puts a spin on mythical creatures such as I’ve never seen. From trolls like triceratops to paranoid centaurs, to loam farting dwarves – he’s good. Very good.
If you looked at this post’s title and thought, “What?” I command you to go check this book out of your library right now and read it. True, it makes some stereotypical concessions such as the main character being filthy rich and able to purchase the latest and greatest technology, and he has free reign over his life despite his age, and faeries are real. But hey – it follows a Super VILLAIN – and you can’t get much more of a conflict than that! You find yourself rooting for Artemis and then rooting for Holly, and sometimes it’s hard to decide which one is in the right or if they’re both wrong. Plus, anyone named Butler who is a Butler and Bodyguard and is…well…Butler, is just awesome. Colfer is obviously an intelligent author with the ability to write for young adults in an engaging manner which doesn’t come across as forced. I would compare him to J.K. Rowling, but it’s not really fair to do that since she kind of has a corner on the market. And in his writing, Colfer doesn’t employ the whodunit tool as Rowling does. There’s no ScoobyDoo unveiling of the bad guy or hairpin plot twists that keep you guessing. You know who the bad guy is. A genius rich twelve year old boy. And he’s enough to keep this story moving and interesting without a mystery to solve. Plus Butler. Not to mention trolls, exploding flatulence, and Foaly the centaur with a tin foil hat. Please, just read it.